the beauty of india

November 2, 2015 - group portrait

on our three weeks trip through the northern part of india we one day asked our driver to stop in the middle of nowhere near thar desert when we spotted a camel herd in the steppe. but as soon as we hopped out of the car and started approaching the camels four teenage girls and two young men appeared and came over to us curiously. they presumably belonged to the farmers families from the near villages, perhaps herding the camels. one man carried a shepherd’s crook and a big water bottle which told us that they spent the whole day out in the fields, while one girl had a bag of crackers in her arm and shampoo bottles in her hands. they obviously came back from one of the millions of small kiosks that speckle all over india even in the outlands selling drinks, crackers, cigarettes, cooking spices, bethel and things of daily needs.

the girls started to surround me while the men stayed in the background observing the scene laughing. the girls tried to communicate, asked something in hindi i didn’t understand, they giggled, laughed, pointed quizzical here and there on my dress, jewelery, sunglasses and camera equipment, touched carefully my hands and examinded my two fingerrings with requesting gestures. when i asked to take their picture by raising my camera and nodding head they expressed their assent immediately. but different from most other people i portrayed in india these girls did not pose very patiently. they were just too busy to marvel at me like a christmas tree on a desert dune.

look at them, aren’t they just gorgeous? during the whole trip i was constantly amazed by the beauty of indian girls and women and how intensively they take care of their female appearance with some eye and lip  make-up, hair combing, braiding and decorating, colorful dresses, nail polish and jewelery, no matter under what simple, poor and dirty conditions they were forced to live especially in the bigger cities like agra, jaipur or delhi where millions live in slums, have no access to any sanitary installations and need to work as garbage or scat collectors to earn enough money for at least one meal a day for themselves and their families and to bribe the police. to be honest compared to them i looked the worse for wear most of the time while road tripping.

but the most decorating accessoire indian people wear and that astonishingly seems to never got negatively affected by any desperate and hopeless, needy and despised life many have to live is their open hearted look and smile theyeverywhere  invited us to their world without any subspicion or prejudice, shame or subordination. thank you, people of india, for having comforted us so wonderfully.

› tags: 100strangers / 6x4.5 / analog / film / film photography / fuji ga 645 / india / kodak ektar 100 / medium format / photography / rajasthan /


  1. Lena Konstantinova says:

    What a bright, warm, colorful image. What a variety of expressions !! And the story is cool, I just wanted to see a picture of them “examining” your look and your rings 🙂 Hope someone took this picture 😉

    • thank you very much, dear lena. i have to dissapoint you, though. anybody took a picture of the girls examining my look but i am prety sure you easily can imagine your own vision of that picture.

  2. interesting story and i can imagine all happened there very easy 🙂

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